Plane passengers' terror as mid-air 'explosion' causes bits of jet to fall out of sky

Terrified passengers were shaken violently in their seats when a plane engine exploded, littering the neighbourhood below with debris.

Passengers were flung around by the mechanical failure, which caused the engine to blast into dozens of pieces.

People on the street below watched on as large metal chunks rained down from the sky and smashed into roads and gardens.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud bang in the sky above Denver, USA at around 1.30pm local time (8.30pm GMT), with some forced to run for cover to avoid the metal chunks.

A video taken from the ground shows a large puff of smoke behind the United Airlines flight.

Another clip captured from inside the cabin shows flames bursting out of the back of a shaking jet engine as the plane flies towards the airport.

One man who said he was on board tweeted: "I’m on #UA328, pilots did an amazing job because it was loud, shaking, and scary as hell back here.

"Fire crews have us out on the tarmac."

One woman saw parts of the plane falling from the sky at around 1.30pm local time.

"We were at the dog park when we heard the loud boom from the airplane and pieces of the plane started falling," she said.

The plane, which was headed to Hawaii, turned back and landed safely at Denver International Airport to cheers from passengers onboard.

A witness on the ground who saw the explosion recalled: "I saw an explosion on this low flying aircraft over Broomfield about 45 minutes ago.

"Debris fell from the plane and left a black cloud of smoke."

There are no reports of injuries from passengers on the plane.

It is not known if anyone was injured by the falling debris.

ieran Cain told CNN he was playing with his children at a local school when they heard a loud boom.

"We saw it go over, we heard the big explosion, we looked up, there was black smoke in the sky," he said.

"Debris started raining down, which you know, sort of looked like it was floating down and not very heavy, but actually now looking at it, It's giant metal pieces all over the place.

"I was surprised that the plane sort of continued on uninterrupted, without really altering its trajectory or doing anything."

Keiran and his children took shelter as the debris fell.

A video from the scene shows a truck which has had its body caved in by a bit of the falling metal.

Denver International Airport confirmed that the Boeing 777 had suffered an engine problem and had turned around, according to CNN.

It is believed there were 200 passengers on board.

Bits of the right wing engine were littered all across Broomfield, which is about 30 miles from the airport, in front gardens as well as on the street.

A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Authority said: "A Boeing 777-200 operated by United Airlines returned to Denver International Airport and landed safely Saturday after experiencing a right engine failure shortly after takeoff.

"The FFA is aware of reports of debris in the vicinity of the airline's flight path."

Broomfield Police have urged people on the ground not to touch debris so the FAA can investigate the crash thoroughly.

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